African professionals in agribusiness undertake valuable site visits in Australia

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The Australia Awards Short Course – Agribusiness 2019, delivered by the University of Queensland (UQ), is currently underway in Australia. The course will enhance African professionals’ ability to engage with and influence the challenges of sustainable economic development, using agribusiness’ good practice, in their own countries.

While in Australia, participants have consolidated their theoretical learnings with site visits. At one of these visits, Moreton Salesyards, participants observed a typical livestock auction that is widely used in Australia to transfer ownership of cattle between livestock producers and processors.

Participant, Mr William Ntoina Emiroi from Kenya, expressed the value of this site visit. “The trip was wonderful, I learned a lot. In my country, such sales are operated by the government, so I was interested to see how they could be run privately. I learned how animals are weighed and how to create a platform for buyers and sellers to interact. I want to implement this when I return home.”

For Mr Israel Etionu from Uganda, the site visit was a revelation to him as he was seeing a sales yard for the first time. He said, “We don’t have sales yards in my country, we only have public markets. We could apply this.”

The second site visit to Lindsay Fresh Logistics showcased modern agri-food logistics systems and the roles that different stakeholders play in value chains. Among the enthusiasts was Ms Tapiwa Kunjeku from Zimbabwe, who said, “This was a useful visit for me. I work in fresh produce value chains, so it was great to see how they maintain the cold chains and the relationships with farmers. Also, I learned the importance of setting up a food bank, as a lot of food gets thrown away in my country.”

Participant, Ms Lorraine Parry from Botswana, lauded the use of technology in the value chain systems that she saw. “It was interesting to see how they increase reliability and efficiency, using technology. The cold chain support, tracking trucks and adjusting the temperature of trucks, centrally from the head office, was amazing”, she said.

Picture: Participants’ site visit to Lindsay Fresh Logistics.

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